"There's no room for me!"

Recently someone complained about the sermons at my church:

“You go on and on about ‘Adam and Christ’, but where do I fit in to that??  You say Adam takes us down to hell and Jesus lifts us up to heaven, but where’s the place for me to make my decision about Jesus, and repent and turn to the Lord for times of refreshing.  If it’s all about Adam and Christ, there’s no room for me.”

But let’s be honest, we all think it.  This person just had the temerity to say it!

Posted on by Glen in gospel, pastoral theology

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

0 Responses to "There's no room for me!"

  1. Kip' Chelashaw

    Glen,

    I think I’d be mostly happy if someone made that complaint about that preaching… eeeeerm… am I wrong to think that?

    K

  2. Kip' Chelashaw

    Sorry that should have read

    I think I’d be mostly happy if someone made that complaint about my preaching…

  3. Dave K

    That made me think too Kip, but I think I’d be mostly happy too. I mean frankly the complainant understands the Gospel really well, and he it is not all separate from him because in “Jesus lifts us“. The only problem for him seems to be lack of room for human decision if I’m catching his drift. I’m sure John 1:13 and chap 3 would cause him some issues. I’ve always appreciated (Glen) how you’ve talked about the Spirit’s role in bringing us into Christ’s life.

    Quite sad though too. At least he raised his concerns and I’m sure had a good response.

  4. Glen

    Sadly the person left the church saying they could never believe the alones of the reformation :(

    What’s made me think though is how close this person’s view is to many.

  5. dave

    How do we win over such a person? Yes but talking endlessly about Adam & Christ, but when we’re speaking into such deep rooted individualism it’s an enormous mind-shift, a bit like dying in Adam to rise in Christ…

  6. Glen

    I think part of it is realising what Paul means by works of the flesh. “Works of the flesh” are precisely those done under the delusion that I’m out of Adam and on my way into Christ. Which means there’s no-one more flesh-y than the serious minded religious person. Naming legalism as “carnal” might have some traction – after all the legalist cares very much about not being carnal. But as dave says – only resurrection power can convert us.

  7. Dave K

    Drives you to prayer doesn’t it?

  8. John B

    I don’t think that the Reformation solas could be believed apart from the doctrine of repentance; nor is gospel repentance possible except for those who believe the truth of the gospel, which the solas express.

    This person’s concerns might well be those of someone who is being “effectually called”.

    “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.” Thesis 1 of “The Ninety-Five Theses”

  9. Glen

    Hi John,

    Indeed. Interestingly I read Hebrews 6 in the KJV yesterday which speaks of “repentance from dead works.” In all our repentance (daily, as Luther stresses here) let’s ensure it’s not another dead work but a renouncing of dead works!

  10. John B

    Hi Glen,

    Hebrews here, in accord with other scriptures, identifies repentance as the first principle in the “elementary doctrine of Christ”, but Hebrews urges believers to press on to maturity, not becoming “sluggish”. I don’t think that Hebrews is saying that repentance is likely to become a ‘dead work’, though this seems like a reasonable implication in connection with the stagnancy that he urges against. I take “dead works” fundamentally to mean the sins of unregenerate persons. Spiritually dead people produced spiritually “dead works”.

    I love Hebrews 8:1 where it says, “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum”. He then goes on to describe Jesus’ high priesthood of the new covenant in which He puts His laws in the minds and hearts of His people who shall all “Know the Lord”.

    At conversion believers are spiritually buried with Jesus by baptism into His death, so that they too may rise to walk in the newness of His life. The complementarity is striking between Hebrews urging believers to press on to maturity, and Paul’s description in Ephesians 4 of putting on the new life, “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.

    The Ninety-Five Theses may be touching on this as well in Thesis 3 where it speaks of “mortifications of the flesh”.

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